Is there a genetic test for polycystic kidney disease?

Our question this week was:

Dr. Debra – I’m a breeder of Persian cats. I know the disease PKD – Polycystic kidney disease is common in this breed. I heard there is a genetic test – do you know how I might find out more information about it?

Sarah M. Seattle, WA


Hi – thanks for your email.

Pets affected with PKD that should be neutered and not bred. Affected cats with no signs of illness should be monitored by checking laboratory work (including BUN, Creatinine, and urine specific gravity) every 6 to 12 months to evaluate progression of the disease to kidney failure.

Genetic testing is available for cats older than 8 weeks of age. A swab of the oral mucous membranes can be collected by the pet owner. The laboratory performing this test is Veterinary Genetics Laboratory at the University of California at Davis. For more information, go to their website:

An article that might be helpful to you is Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD).

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra

To read most recent questions Click here!

Click here to see the full list of Ask Dr. Debra Questions and Answers!